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Assembly blocks provide ships and stations with production capacity, which can be used to assemble fighters and improves the speed of production and refining at stations.

Assembly Block Stats
Resource Material Production Capacity (per 10m^3) Mass (tons / 10m^3) Simultaneous Fighter Production
Iron .35 /s 51 1
Titanium .52 /s 30 2
Naonite .79 /s 33 2
Trinium 1.18 /s 21 3
Xanion 1.77 /s 27 3
Ogonite 2.66 /s 45 4
Avorion 4 /s 36 5

Fighter Production[ | ]

Ships and stations with assembly blocks can produce fighters internally. Production speed is determined by the total production capacity of all assembly blocks but is split between any simultaneous productions. The number of simultaneous productions is limited by the number of un-merged assembly blocks and the material tier of the highest tier assembly block present. For instance, one avorion assembly block will only be able to produce one fighter at a time, while four iron blocks and one avorion block will allow five to be produced at once.

Factory Production[ | ]

Factory and mine stations can reduce their production cycle time down to a minimum of 15 seconds with the use of assembly blocks. The time to complete a cycle is the value of the finished goods multiplied by the level of the good and then divided by total production capacity. All stations have a minimum production capacity of 100/s so adding anything less than that does not have any benefit. Some mines and stations production cycles are already at the minimum production cycle time and adding assembly blocks to these stations will have no effect. While there is no player in sector with a mine or factory they will update their production cycles less frequently, adding up to 5 seconds to the time between cycles.

Multiple factory productions running simultaneously do not exhibit the same splitting behavior as fighter production. If a factory has two production cycles which take 30 seconds and a third production cycle is added each cycle will still only take 30 seconds to complete. Factory goods and fighters being produced at the same time also do not effect each other's production times.

[1] This steam thread answer contains more information on the formula for calculating final production time vs production capacity.

Optimal factory production capacity

Details from lua version 2.3.1:
The actual math is in Avorion\data\scripts\entity\merchants\factory.lua function Factory.refreshProductionTime()
Where value is the price of all goods (including garbage) multiplied by their respective amounts produced in each cycle.
And averageLevel is the average level of all types of goods and garbage, ignoring the amounts of each.

   levelSpeedup = 1 + averageLevel / 100
   Factory.timeToProduce = math.max(Factory.MinimumTimeToProduce, value / Factory.productionCapacity / levelSpeedup)

For example, a Rubber Factory produces the following

Good Value Level
3 Rubber 3 * 686 = 2058 2
1 Toxic Waste 15 nil
1 Acid 402 3

Value is 2058 + 15 + 402 = 2475
Average level is ( 2 + 0 + 3 ) / 3 = 1.667
Speedup is 1 + 1.66.. / 100 = 1.01667
With the default 100 production capacity, cycle time is 2475 / 100 / 1.02 = 24.3
The optimal capacity to produce Rubber is 2475 / 15 / 1.01667 = 162.3 rounded up to 163.